Victor Martinez to miss rest of 2017 season following chronic ablation surgery

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Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez is done for the season, the team confirmed Saturday. He’ll undergo chronic ablation surgery to repair the tissue in his heart that is causing an irregular heartbeat. Martinez was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday following an episode that required hospitalization. It was his second stint on the DL due to heart issues.

The good news? While heart surgery can’t exactly be classified as a minor procedure, the recovery timetable for this treatment is expected to be relatively short. Comments from team manager Brad Ausmus suggested that Martinez won’t suffer long-term effects from the surgery and doesn’t appear to be contemplating retirement in the near future. He should be eligible to return to the team again in the spring, barring any unforeseen complications.

Martinez, 38, finished his 2017 run with a .255/.324/.372 batting line, 10 home runs and 47 RBI through 435 plate appearances. This is the first major medical issue the veteran slugger has dealt with since undergoing hernia surgery during the 2016 offseason. Per’s Jason Beck, the Tigers will place Martinez on the 60-day disabled list on Sunday to clear roster space for right-handed prospect Artie Lewicki.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.